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SiLic0ne t0aD

New Coleco RGB board?

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A bit more info:

My design will be a 4-layer board. It will only be available fully assembled - sorry kit makers - this SMD board has TSSOP parts and really needs automated assembly. Right now I'm collecting info about the layouts of boards that use the 9928/9 to know what shape will fit ALL boards without conflicts, and also to find out the connectors and pinouts of desired RGB ports for each model.

There will also be an RGB to S-Video/composite add-on available as a separate plug in board to give very clean S-Video with dot crawl eliminated.

I will not be offering an installation service, but I will direct everyone to Ruggers Customs if they want someone else to do the install. Installation requires the ability to disassemble, solder, fit the new socket (some cutting may be required) and re-assembling your machine. If you install it yourself it's at your own risk. 

I don't have a costing yet, but it looks like the board, tested, assembled and shipped will be around $35-40ish. Maybe a bit less. I'll do the best I can to keep the cost reasonable without compromising quality.

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I too would be in for one when they are done.  Including the RGB to S-Video/composite add-on.

 

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2 hours ago, pokemontrainer said:

Really cool to see this progress! 👏 I will take 2 (1 PAL and 1 NTSC) as well!

With any luck, the same board should be PAL and NTSC compatible (simultaneously).  I just took delivery of a PAL Colecovision this afternoon.  It's in a slight state of disrepair (with a previously-failed RGB mod install), but assuming it's not too hard to get back up and running, we'll have a more definitive answer on compatibility than "should be".  That's on my mini-project list (along with testing the Genesis 2 cable configuration) while waiting for the first batch of test boards to arrive next week.

 

2 hours ago, MrPix said:

It will only be available fully assembled - sorry kit makers...

For the adventurous: you'll still be able to order a blank PCB from places like OSHPark and get the pieces separately from any of the usual distributors (all that information will be neatly detailed on the upcoming project info page).  That said, in the quantities that MrPix is talking about, it will probably end up cheaper to buy an assembled board than to try and make one yourself!

 

The rare case where it might make any sense at all is if you live someplace very different than MrPix that has crazy shipping rates.  If the components are available locally and are less than the difference in shipping and you've already got the tools to do the assembly and you've got good eyesight and fine motor control... well, making one yourself might be the right answer.  But that's a lot of "ands". 🤣

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23 minutes ago, Falonn said:

For the adventurous: you'll still be able to order a blank PCB from places like OSHPark and get the pieces separately from any of the usual distributors (all that information will be neatly detailed on the upcoming project info page).  That said, in the quantities that MrPix is talking about, it will probably end up cheaper to buy an assembled board than to try and make one yourself!

 

The rare case where it might make any sense at all is if you live someplace very different than MrPix that has crazy shipping rates.  If the components are available locally and are less than the difference in shipping and you've already got the tools to do the assembly and you've got good eyesight and fine motor control... well, making one yourself might be the right answer.  But that's a lot of "ands". 🤣

I never have crazy shipping rates. Within the US/Canada it would be probably around $5, and to the EU I would probably ship a bunch of them to someone there to reship them at local rates. Possibly through sellmyretro.com?

As for kits, I've had a couple of PMs begging and imploring and explaining the error of my ways.

Honestly, if you want to assemble one yourself I'll send you a kit. It's just that it will take longer to make the kit than the assembled unit, so it would cost the same. I have to label the tapes with the components so you know the values as they're just too small to have the values printed on. In that case, I will make up a set number of kits for the determined and foolhardy, and when they're gone they're gone. :P Assembled units will have a warranty and support. With kits, I would help as much as I could, but no warranty.

Look again at the PCB image Falonn posted above. The components all fit into a half inch band. 13mm. The parts and board are *tiny*.

Hehe.

 

 

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18 minutes ago, MrPix said:

I never have crazy shipping rates.

I didn't mean you would intentionally choose crazy rates, hehe.  I've just heard horror stories about, like, $60 to send a 1oz padded envelope to Australia.  All I was trying to do was illustrate how tiny the "I should make it myself" slice on the Venn diagram is going to be. 🤣

 

22 minutes ago, MrPix said:

The components all fit into a half inch band. 13mm. The parts and board are *tiny*.

You're not kidding!  I'm a little anxious about having to do my first test boards by hand.  I have some cut tape with a few hundred 0603 caps here; I removed one to show my 4-year-old and now that it's back in the bag, my brain still registers it as a speck of dust before I recall it's actually a circuit component. 😅

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Okay, from someone who makes their own pcbs and bakes them in my own oven (not a modded toaster oven), I'll just say this.  For the price point of 35 to 40ish fully assembled, with support and shipped, that's extremely reasonable.  Unless you're buying the components in bulk,  you're probably going to come out close to or maybe even a little more than what Mr. Pix will end up selling them for.  

When citris3000's RGB boards were sold fully assembled they were 30 bucks plus shipping if I remember correctly.

 

Just something to think about.

 

 

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And the citrus3000psi board is 1/3rd the component cost. It’s only possible to do this because I’m buying more parts than I need to hit the price breaks. 
 

I’ll be investing about $2,200 or so in components, plus shipping. That doesn’t include some parts I haven’t priced yet. 
 

It’s a small risk, a huge investment, but worth it for the community. Y’all are getting old and your eyes are going! ;D 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, MrPix said:

And the citrus3000psi board is 1/3rd the component cost. It’s only possible to do this because I’m buying more parts than I need to hit the price breaks. 
 

I’ll be investing about $2,200 or so in components, plus shipping. That doesn’t include some parts I haven’t priced yet. 
 

It’s a small risk, a huge investment, but worth it for the community. Y’all are getting old and your eyes are going! ;D 

Yep that's precisely my point.  I think the two most expensive parts on that board were the LM359M at 3 bucks a piece followed by the adjustment pots.  So with shipping the assembled citrus3000 board was 35 to 40 bucks.  Your board is a 4 layer more complex board with lots more ics and other components.  I think what you're doing is an excellent value and service so count me in.  Thanks! :)

Edited by Ruggers Customs
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12 hours ago, Falonn said:

I didn't mean you would intentionally choose crazy rates, hehe.  I've just heard horror stories about, like, $60 to send a 1oz padded envelope to Australia.  All I was trying to do was illustrate how tiny the "I should make it myself" slice on the Venn diagram is going to be. 🤣

 

You're not kidding!  I'm a little anxious about having to do my first test boards by hand.  I have some cut tape with a few hundred 0603 caps here; I removed one to show my 4-year-old and now that it's back in the bag, my brain still registers it as a speck of dust before I recall it's actually a circuit component. 😅

You should see the metric 0402's that I accidentally ordered once.  You know that 0603?  It will fit between the pads without touching either.  No, I didn't actually use them.

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1 hour ago, ChildOfCv said:

You should see the metric 0402's that I accidentally ordered once.

It scares me a little each time I see that the metric size designations start matching the Imperial list at those smallest sizes.  I am sure I'm going to make the same mistake one day.  (Looking at the comparison chart, metric 0402's are specks of dust!) 😬

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On 5/19/2020 at 1:25 PM, MrPix said:



There will also be an RGB to S-Video/composite add-on available as a separate plug in board to give very clean S-Video with dot crawl eliminated.

 

PM Sent! 

 

Now if only I can get something similar going with the Intellivision...

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Hehe, yes I already do a lot of parts consolidation. Part of my feedback to Falonn was consolidation and clean up of capacitors. I also will change the board shape to reduce hole count, and minimize layer changes to reduce via count as these all have a cost too. 

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4 hours ago, ChildOfCv said:

And just posted on the EEVBLOG channel...

I am happy to see a few things called out there that I just sort of did intuitively.  There isn't much room for value consolidation when there are so few values, but getting two uses out of the 150ohm and 910ohm resistors was a conscious choice while designing the various dividers. ☺️

 

3 hours ago, MrPix said:

I also will change the board shape to reduce hole count...

I had considered a kind of hourglass shape with some of the unused holes removed, but for my target (one-off, artisanal, hand-made boards by adventurous hobbyists 😉 ), they'll always be using a prototyping PCB service, which I've only ever seen charge for axis-aligned bounding-box area (vs. drill count, etc.).

 

After seeing cracked-off through-holes on the ColecoRGB board more than once, just keeping the board whole (even if that means an extra 15 holes) seemed like a fair trade-off for strength.  Remember that most of these installs will be done by inexperienced hobbyists that have too-large tips on their too-low wattage irons and few (if any) of the usual tools needed for small things.

 

3 hours ago, MrPix said:

... and minimize layer changes to reduce via count... 

Planarity was a constant preoccupation of mine during layout (to the detriment of many other things 😅 ), so I would be very interested in seeing a board with fewer vias.

 

v1-back.thumb.png.e403bec5a59fd115c7c2283adef228c9.png

 

Outside of a bit of tangle between U1 through U3 along with routing hard-to-reach power in a couple cases, there are no layer changes. 🤣

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Also, please add me to the list for two boards - both with the S-Video/Composite option.

Cheers and THANKS!

 

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9 hours ago, Falonn said:

I had considered a kind of hourglass shape with some of the unused holes removed, but for my target (one-off, artisanal, hand-made boards by adventurous hobbyists 😉 ), they'll always be using a prototyping PCB service, which I've only ever seen charge for axis-aligned bounding-box area (vs. drill count, etc.).

 

After seeing cracked-off through-holes on the ColecoRGB board more than once, just keeping the board whole (even if that means an extra 15 holes) seemed like a fair trade-off for strength.  Remember that most of these installs will be done by inexperienced hobbyists that have too-large tips on their too-low wattage irons and few (if any) of the usual tools needed for small things.

You have really good instincts. All inner corners need to have a gentle radius.

9 hours ago, Falonn said:

Planarity was a constant preoccupation of mine during layout (to the detriment of many other things 😅 ), so I would be very interested in seeing a board with fewer vias.

 

v1-back.thumb.png.e403bec5a59fd115c7c2283adef228c9.png

 

Outside of a bit of tangle between U1 through U3 along with routing hard-to-reach power in a couple cases, there are no layer changes. 🤣

I think you're a natural.

I'm looking forward to revision 0.2 (since this is still very beta... Isn't it? Or is it?

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1 hour ago, MrPix said:

I'm looking forward to revision 0.2 (since this is still very beta... Isn't it? Or is it?

Yep.  The first batch is just to make sure the circuit still turns over and that I didn't make any major mistakes in the schematic.  Assuming it works as well as the breadboard version, I was planning to send a couple out to people that have more Colecovisions to test against than I do (like Ruggers Customs) so we can find out if it still works on fussy systems.

 

But since your PM'd design review, there'll definitely be a version 2 with, like, fifty small improvements.  That was a whole lot of awesome information, thanks again!

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Ok, a big question now.

Since this is an RGB output, what RGB socket to people most want to use? Do you want a 9-pin D-SUB, or a DIN socket, or a small PS/2 type socket, or what? Is there a particular type of monitor more of you use, where providing that socket will simplify things and allow cable re-use for the most people?

What have you got?!

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1 minute ago, videofx said:

Can we get 15 pin Female VGA connector?

We can. Just remember the output is old school RGB, not VGA, and most newer VGA monitors won't be able to display it.

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